Press Release
August 8, 2011

Transcript of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile

On what transpired during the Caucus

SP I wanted to discuss with them his resignation and how we will operationalize it because there was an opinion by Sen. Miriam, which is a valid opinion, that you cannot abandon public office. We agreed that as far as the Senate is concerned, his resignation, we cannot stop it. If there is any legal responsibility on his part, that is personal to him. We discussed some other matters especially with respect to the disposition of pending matters in his Committee.

Q What will happen to the Committees of Sen. Zubiri and what committees will be open to Atty. Pimentel?

SP Yes. When he comes, we will know what group he will want to belong to, because we operate in the Senate not by parties anymore, because there is an amorphous situation in the Senate because you have Nacionalistas. You have Liberals. You have PDP Laban. We have PMP and independents, so we have agreed when we assigned the Committees, when we reorganized the Senate for the 15th Congress, that we do it by blocks. So, he will have to decide to which block he wants to belong to and then we will try to attend to his Committee assignments.

Q Hindi po ba automatic yun because PDP Laban is aligned with your party?

SP No, PDP is not aligned with the PMP. They have maintained their own identity.

Q It's not going to be automatic?

SP It depends if Koko would want to join or maintain the PDP-Laban affiliation because Sen. Osmeña is a member of the PDP-Laban. Then there will be two of them. As far as Committee assignments are concerned, we will have another Caucus at that point and discuss among ourselves what Committees would have to be assigned to Senator Pimentel once he is proclaimed, and we will draw that from the other members of the Senate because we have assigned all the Committees from the current membership of the Senate.

Q Satisfied naman kayo sa pace ng Senate Electoral Tribunal?

SP We do not interfere with the function of the Electoral Tribunal. As far as we are concerned in the Senate, that is a Constitutional mandate. It is not part of the Committee of the Senate although we assign Senators there. Again, on the basis of developing strength of the blocks in the Senate.

Q Do they have a schedule for the proclamation?

SP I don't know.

On PNoy's meeting with the head of the MILF

SP I think we better just give the President enough leeway and presume good faith for the country because this is a very sensitive matter that involves the national interest of the country.

Q Hindi na po kailangan isapubliko?

SP I will not discuss the pros and cons of that. If I were to be asked, I will leave it to his wise discretion.

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